Dobson hails WP’s scrum after Final
REACTION: Western Province coach John Dobson praised his side's commanding scrum display during their 33-21 win over the Sharks.
Western Province, labelled the underdogs, trailed 10-21 after 32 minutes of play. They managed to narrow the gap to 15-21 at the break courtesy of a try by Dilly Leyds.
In the second half, while Sharks were losing composure, the Cape Town-based side scored 18 unanswered points to secure a 34th Currie Cup title.
With many eyes fixated on the Curwin Bosch and Robert Du Preez battle at flyhalf, the scrums also proved to be the key aspect during the final.
Dobson, after the match, admitted that the scrums were a crucial work on ahead of the final.
And revealed that the trio, which consists of Wilco Louw, JC Janse van Rensburg and hooker Mbongeni Mbonambi, exceeded his expectation. Their dominance at the set-piece forced Sharks to replaced their entire front row by the 55th minute.
"I feel a wonderful sense of relief," Dobson told reporters.
"We came into the game as underdogs but simultaneously had the belief we could win,"
"Scrums were an important part of our plan, I did not quite expect it to be as dominant as we were.
"I think the first scrum was a Sharks put-in, and we did scrum them off the ball, which laid down the marker," he said.
Despite their solid scrum, Province showed reluctance to make use of the dominant set-piece which left the mentor astonished.
"I was frustrated we didn’t make use of the scrum on more occasions," he said, adding: "Especially just before the break, I was irritated because I wanted to go under the posts with the scrum and keep the ball there,"
"Nonetheless, the guys [backline] wanted to go and fortunately, in the end, the quick tap-and-go paid off.
"Leyds' try gave us a lot of optimism heading to the lockers,"
Just a few weeks ago, Dobson's troops were in a similar predicament during a Round 13 match in Durban
During that match, the side trailed 3-13 at the break, but tremendous character and a great performance by Robert du Preez ensured them a 31-20.
The 24-year-old, who heads to the Sharks next season, has become an integral part of Province's leadership set-up, Dobson revealed.
"On both occasions [in Round 13 and the Currie Cup final] even though we were down at halftime, we felt we were very much in the game.
"Robert Du Preez came to me in the change rooms and just reasserted that 'we got this'.
"I think that calm leadership and confidence from Rob du Preez as well as Chris Van Zyl and Huw Jones also played a tremendous part in the win," he added.